A Link preview is a feature used in many popular messaging apps and social media to give users a taste of a link's content even before they click on it. Often, a Link preview automatically generated by the app or website extracting the information from the linked page and displaying it in a preview window.
How does a link preview work?
If you share or receive a link that contains a Link preview the app or web page in question accesses the embedded
-tag of the linked page to retrieve relevant information such as the page title, a brief description, and a thumbnail image.
The Link preview is usually displayed as a small preview window with the title of the linked page, a short description, and sometimes a relevant image or preview of the content. By displaying the Link preview you can decide whether you want to click the link or not, which can save time if you are not interested in the content.
The advantages of link preview
The use of a Link preview offers a variety of advantages:
- You can get a quick overview of the link's content to see if it's relevant to you.
- The Link preview saves time, because you only need to open relevant links.
- It helps you protect yourself from potentially dangerous or unwanted content.
- It enhances the user experience and improves the user experience on messaging platforms and social media.
Most modern apps and websites automatically generate a Link previewwhen you share a link. This is done with the help of so-called "Link Previews" or API-Calls to retrieve the relevant information. Sometimes you can also manually make a Link preview by entering the link in the preview input field in the app or by using the option to generate a Link preview select.
Change or customize a link preview
Although link previews are usually generated automatically, sometimes there is a need to edit or adjust a preview manually. This can be especially important if the automatically generated title, description, or image does not produce the desired results.
Some social media platforms and content management systems allow you to manually edit a preview by editing the information displayed or uploading an alternative image. This allows you to customize the preview so that it better represents the content of the link or looks more attractive.
The challenges of creating a link preview
The automation of link preview creation has certainly helped to simplify the processes. Still, not all links and web pages are created equal. There can be challenges when
- the linked page about missing or wrongly formatted
- the API or Crawling-mechanisms of the app or website do not work correctly, or
- the linked page contains dynamic content or content that is outside the
In such cases, there may be problems with the generation of the Link preview and it may not be possible to customize the desired page title, description or thumbnail.
The use of a Link preview can significantly improve the way we share and click on links. You now get real information about the content of a link even before you click on it. This saves time and protects you from unwanted or dangerous content. It is a very useful feature that is present in many messaging apps and social media. The automatic generation of a Link preview facilitates the process, but presents challenging scenarios where adjustments may be required. Overall, a Link preview a better user experience when sharing and opening links.
"`« Back to Glossary Index